I’m not a pastor, but I work among them. I’ve been on staff at a fairly large church for the last four years of my life. Before that, I interned there during my summers as a high school student. The following are five lessons that I’ve learned while working for the church:
1) Flexibility Is Key
More often than not, I can be thrown into situations I didn’t expect to be in. Essentially, I’ve been a “runner,” meaning I’m going to run and do anything that I’m told to do. If I’m told to do data entry, maintenance, counseling, etc. I’m supposed to be ready and willing to do it. I learned very quickly that If I’m going to be useful at the church, then I can’t expect to have my “job-title” set in stone all the time.
2) People Are Priority
If a visitor or inquirer comes into the church, I am supposed to answer any questions they have and show them around the church. If it was time for my shift to end, I’ve learned to take time with the guests anyway; after all, that’s what the church is there for! Also, instead of just pointing people where to go if they are looking for something specific, it’s better to be personal and walk them to the area while talking with them.
3) Understand People Have Bad Days
A Church atmosphere is not exempt from people having bad days. I learned quickly that the people that work at churches are just regular people; they admit their faults, but they do make their share of mistakes, too. Comically, the area in which I’ve found more of my colleagues get frustrated and angry in than anything else is with the printer. As we all know, technology can give us troubles; believe it or not, the church does not have holy-printers that never break or cause trouble.
4) I Will Make Mistakes
I’ve always been encouraged to take some risks at times and run with projects that I am passionate about. But, this is always teamed up with the admittance that I will probably make mistakes. Fortunately, they also recognize that it is mistakes that I will learn from. Nobody is perfect; as such, being freed up to make mistakes can be a great blessing.
5) Love What You Do
I’m not forced to work where I do; I could leave at any time. However, I enjoy what I do and the people that I work with. To me, it’s become a second family. We’re there for each other during difficult times, and we rejoice with one another during the great times. It’s great to work in an atmosphere like this.